The Royal Trophy awarded from Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali (the royal rank at that time)
The winner in Education Branch in “The Project of Audiobook to Fulfil Learning Imagination to The Blind”
The competition in “The 2nd Red Bull U-Project” in 2015
From Khunying Kwanta Devakula, the royal envoy
on 22nd September 2015 at Conrad Hotel Bangkok
“The Project of Audiobook to Fulfil Learning Imagination to The Blind” is a
project that students (at that time) integrated their knowledge from the classes to the young people who have the problem with their eye sight. This project hope to help develop the teaching and learning system, and to provide equipment to the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind. The project will help the young blind to have learning equipment to help their learning development. The students of the Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna in Lampang Province, therefore, develop the audiobooks for the visual impaired people from Kindergarten level to Grade 3 to stimulate their imagination and to develop reading skills. The project had an opportunity to enter the competition in “The 2nd Red Bull U-Project”, and won the winner prize. The team was awarded the royal trophy from Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali (the royal rank at that time). The students will share their experience in working together in this project. Let us see what are their ideas and how to work together.
Q: What is the inspiration to submit the project into this competition?
A: The beginning of the project is when the students have an opportunity to collect the data for doing the research in “The Study in Guidance of Assisted-Computer Development to Aid the Visual Impairment: The Case Study of the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind” which is in coordination with the advisor. According to the information provided by Lek Kaomheunwai, the lecturer of visual impairment of the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind in the competency of learning media, it found that audiobook is necessary to the study and the living of the visual impaired people. In present, the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind uses two types of audiobooks that are Electronic Audiobook with Daisy System, and Audiobook on the internet of the Media Learning Center for Disabled. These two types of media are difference. The Daisy System is the system which the visual impaired people can search and control the reading by themselves; however, its limit is the price of the Daisy System is quite high. It is also used particularly in the school. The contents of audiobooks emphasize on teaching and learning in classes. The other system, audiobook on the internet, is website gathering all media for disabled which is divided into categories. These media are audio for reading; therefore, the data of the audios contain in large size of the files. There is a timeline so that the users can either stop or replay the audios anytime. The limit of this audio type is that the users need to use mouse to control the timeline. This may cause the visual impaired people cannot control with their voices; therefore, there is someone such as a lecturer to help them control the timeline.
The team of students has an idea to apply the contexts of Physics to develop audiobooks for the visual impaired people from Kindergarten level to Grade 3 to stimulate their imagination and to develop reading skills. This project is in coordination with the project advisor to submit the project into the competition in “The 2nd Red Bull U-Project” in Education Branch.
Q: Expectations of benefits and outcomes
A: The idea of doing the project at that time is what we can help the visual impaired people have learning media to stimulate their imagination of those people. For the group of visual impaired people, they cannot wake up with seeing the view of blue sky of the new day. They can only hear and touch those things by using their imagination. After we submit the project to the competition in Red Bull U-Project of Red Bull Company Limited, there are many people think that we are crazy (laughing). They do not think that the company will consider to provide the financial support to the students who do the activities and have only a few pages of project proposal. It is unbelievable that we can do it. When the committee announce the result, our team is selected to be one of twenty teams of the finalists from the students across the country in 4 branches which are Agriculture, Education or Culture, Medical and Public Health, and Innovation for Community Enterprises. After that, we join the camp for learning how to do the project and how to get the budget of 300,000 Baht for doing the project. We set our target that we will make audiobooks to give them away to the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind, Phrae Santi Jintana School for the Blind, and the Northern School for the Blind under patronage of the Queen in Chiang Mai Province.
Q: Problems and obstacles during the competition
A: The main problem of us is communication and confidence. Most of our team members are quiet persons and not talking much, but they do their job (seriously). This may be the characteristic of the IT students who might interact most with the computers. This cause that they are lack of confidence to interact with human beings (laughing). Due to having the obvious target, we have to often do a lot of practice.
The other problem is time. We are studying hard at the same time when we are doing the project. The lecturers give us a lot of lessons which make us have less time to work in the project. Therefore, it is necessary that we must be good at time management. During that time, we go back to the dormitory late every night. It is good to have social media so that we can keep communicating and discussing with any issues including solving the problems via using IT which is the way of IT students (laughing).
Q: The most difficulties in team collaboration
A: The most difficulties in team collaboration is the process of low relief book production. We previously try creating the low relief photo which use the paper as the prototype (papermache), and present the product to the committee of the competition in the final round. However, the papermache does not work when it comes to the actual process due to the fact that the low relief photos that we put them in the tales are in small size and specific details. We, therefore, adjust the plan by using other waste materials; for example, fine sawdust from wooden handcrafts in Baan Luk, Mae Ta District, Lampang Province, and we try to find the perfect ratio between mixing and other materials for molding.
Moreover, the process of printing and block compression is quite difficult. Changing from the low relief photo to papermache, we need to turn the mold upside down to compress fine sawdust instead. The difficulty is how to compress fine sawdust and take them out without causing any damage, and how to mold them without any sharpness or harm to others who touch them. We have been trying in every way which it is difficult to get the answer. There are meetings in every evening which we are quite stress. Finally, we all pass that point.
This is not the end. The most difficulty of our work is the number of low relief photo. We intend to make ten stories having four scenes in each story. There are many characters in each scene. We plan to deliver this project to the three schools; consequently, we need to mold the photos a lot after that we need to assemble them to a set. Golf and Man, two members of the team, need to go to the blind school almost everyday to read the story’s scripts to Mr. Wichan, a teacher of the Lampang Eye Foundation and Lampang School for The Blind, so that he can help us type braille. It is very difficult to go through that point. If our team members and the lecturers of the university do not help in the production, and Mr. Wichan do not help us with the braille, we could imagine that how can we finish the project.
Q: How does the university support and promote the competition?
A: The university promoted and supported us in the facilities and utilities. We would like to thank to the management team, lecturers, and staff of the Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna in Lampang Province including our friends who come to support us and to be volunteers for media production. We would like to express special thank to our project advisor who helps and supports us in all matters including giving some advice and solving the problems together.
Q: What do you have earned from the competition besides the award?
A: Firstly, it is the pride (smile). We are so proud of having the opportunity to make this creative activity for the society by making learning media to the visual impaired students. The Gaochompor team and volunteers has applied their knowledge in graphic, information technology, and arts to make learning media for the young blind. The media which we make are just low relief book for the ordinary people, but they are like the models of materials, animals, and general things in their hands. Some items are dangerous to the young blind and they cannot touch, but they can learn from the learning media in audiobooks having both low relief photos and braille. These audiobooks will help them learning touching skills and reading along with the voice of tales which help their listening skills developed. These audiobooks will be media which inspire imagination to the young blind.
Secondly, we gain the team work experience. We delegate the tasks to each member of the team. We learn how to plan and solve the problem in every day because what we are doing is very delicate and handmade in every step. It is not easy to find the mixture of materials which can be molded. Although it takes some time, but everyone in the team including the volunteers suggest some advice to us. We learn to listen to other opinions and solve the problems together to finish the project and achieve the goal.
Lastly, we are in coordination with the Public Relations team to build a small record room for working. When the project finished, we give the room away to the university so that the lecturers and students including relevant departments or units can benefit for their teaching and learning management.
Q: What are the messages that you would like to pass on to the people who have dream or want to success?
A: We wants to tell everyone that “first step leads to the next ones”. We never think that we will come this far. It is just because we have a dream and we have courage to do it. We will on the half way of success. If you ask us about the problems and obstacles in working in this project, we will say “definitely yes”. However, we can come across those problems and obstacles with our strong will if we see them as the challenges and it is worth to fight for. When we look back at the beginning of the project, we will proudly stand tall if you pass at that point.
Q: What experience do you gain in participating the activity / the competition / the representatives?
A: What we have learned from the project is “friendship”. No matter it will be the friendship from team colleagues, the project advisor, and all supporters who encourage us. The other thing that we unintentionally get from the competition is “giving to others”. We are happy every time to see their smiles. It is unbelievable that our hands can pass the happiness forwards to the young.
Q: What are the messages that you would like to pass on to the next generation or student representatives?
A: Actually, the definition of success has different meanings for different people. All of us can design our own success, but we have never known what we will experience on the way to our achievement. Whatever will happen, we just need courage to try doing new things which benefits the most people and do not harm cause any troubles to others. That is the beginning of success. If we only think, it will be only our thought. Many people told themselves that they could not it. We will never know what we can do until we do it. We just want to courage all of you to try doing new things because we may get the better results than we think.
The destination of success in the competition is the award, friendship, and experience of working together as a team that we would not have in the classes. Above of all, the greatest achievement is to apply the project to make benefits and smiles to the people of society. It is invaluable success and more than the award is the pride of the students of the Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna in Lampang Province.